Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Another Ramadan is knocking at the door. Now is the time to start planning how to make this the best Ramadan in our lives, bi idhnillah. Maybe you’re thinking, “Oh but I do plan so many things, that I’ll read the whole Quran twice, that I’ll memorize a whole Juz, etc, but I always end up doing just a slice of whatever big plans I had. So you see, it’s no use. “No, its not “no use.”
It doesn’t matter how many times you failed, what matters is that you keep trying. Those who never fail are those who never try. So forgive yourself for past failings, and learn from those failures in order to grow stronger and better. Press the restart button on your soul and prepare for getting energized! Here are a few tips on what you can actually do before Ramadan to make your Ramadan experience smoother and better in sha Allah.
It is a great idea to let your body adjust to fasting before Ramadan begins. The Prophet (saws) used to fast the most on the month before Ramadan. Aisha (ra) said, ‘I never saw Allah’s Apostle (saws) fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadan, and did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Shaban.’ [Sahih Bukhari]
If you do this, then you won’t have to worry about having your metabolism shut down during those first days of Ramadan, and you can have smooth easy beginning.
Do all the cleaning and painting and buying and throwing furniture and stuff that is necessary, especially for Eid, before Ramadan. This will take a big stress out of your head and save those precious Ramadan hours you would otherwise be wasting in doing this stuff.
Research quick ‘n easy recipes
It’s a tradition, especially in the Indian subcontinent, to spend hours upon hours in Ramadan buying and preparing food. It’s almost impossible to think of iftar without at least 8 or 10 types of pakoras and five to ten types of fruits and sweets on the table. It is of course rewarding to make your family happy, and if they want to have something special for iftar, then give it to them. There are many delicious dishes and drinks you can make which take very short time to get ready and cook. Find out which things work best for you, print out the recipes and keep in a nice file, to use for your iftar cuisine!
Get important tasks done ahead
Get your half-yearly or quarterly medical and dental check-ups and things like that done early if they fall during Ramadan. This will save precious Ramadan time and save you from those dilemmas of ‘Is my fast broken when I have by blood taken?’ or ‘Can I fast while antiseptic is leaking from my tooth?’ Plan to increase your Ramadan free-time as much as possible by preponing as much work as you can.
If you want to save a vast deal of time (and money if you’re living in Muslim countries where everything costs double for Eid) then complete your Eid shopping beforehand. You can enjoy shopping for everything you need for yourself, your family, and gifts for friends and relatives, and you can be leisurely and not scared of running out of time and energy before iftar or skip tarawih.
Make your Ramadan goals challenging but attainable
Make your goals for Ramadan:
- Clear, precise and measurable, so that you know exactly what has to happen for you to fulfill your target. Don’t just say, ‘I want to memorize some ayaat’ or ‘I want to read Quran as much as I can’. Put it like this: ‘I will memorize the first 10 surahs of Juz Amma, and so I will memorize one third of a surah everyday.’
- Something that you can make a habit of: Take the thirty days of Ramadan as a 30-day training course. If you take that attitude, then you won’t spend the whole month doing ibadah and then after Eid give everything up and go back to your former way of living. Ramadan is not just a month for earning rewards, it’s a month that prepares us to deal with the rest of the eleven months.
- Attainable: Let us not bite more than we can chew. It creates stress and makes life difficult to expect too much from oneself. If you are a beginner at reciting Quran, don’t have a goal of reading the whole Quran twice. By the end of the first ten days you might possibly give up reciting completely. Know your strengths and limitations and set your goals accordingly.
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